Straw Bale Workshop: Where Will I Meet You?

Written by Andrew Morrison

We are excited to announce our 2013 straw bale workshop schedule this coming Friday, November 23rd at 9am Eastern Time. We have some great locations and projects set up this year, and I trust you will find the perfect option. So the question then becomes: when and where will I get to meet you? You may think that depends on where you live; however, I have seen people travel from great distances to workshops for many different reasons. Some come for the location, and others for the project. What will make you travel? Let’s see what the workshops have to entice you…

I’m not going to give away locations or dates yet, so you can just have some fun with the general feel of each workshop. I guess this is an exercise in intuition. Feel into the short descriptions below and see what resonates. This may not be the class you end up attending, but then again, it just might be. So, in no particular order, here are some details of our straw bale workshops to get you moving.

man fly fishing in riverOption #1. Do you like to fly fish? Have you always dreamed of standing beneath beautiful mountains with a river rushing by, fly rod in hand? The feeling of water flowing past your feet as you wade into the cool mountain river is just enough to take off the edge of the summer heat.

The sounds of summer surround you and you find yourself drifting off to a place of calm and comfort. Not a bad way to start or end a workshop experience. In fact, with this location, you can walk from your tent and cast your fly into the river at the end of each and every day if you like. You can also always hike in the beautiful countryside or take a little extra time to make it to some of this countries most picturesque mountains. 

woman pouring glass of wineOption #2. If you enjoy the art and craft (and flavor!) of a good microbrew, consider attending this workshop where there are at least three breweries in town, not to mention many well respected vineyards. I suppose you could arrange a wine tour one day, a brewery tour another, and then spend the rest of your free time floating the river (or taking a jet boat tour if you prefer speed!).

Want a little more culture than just beer, wine and rivers? You got it. A world renowned Shakespeare theatre or perhaps an acclaimed music festival should fit the bill. Both are available to you here. Oh, and beautiful nature…yeah, we got that too.

mountain landscapeOption #3. Speaking of nature, perhaps that is your focus. Maybe you live in a city or are somehow isolated from nature more than you care to be. If that’s the case, then spending your “working vacation” somewhere that offers stunning natural beauty and many different ways to enjoy it could be just the thing for you.

Walking trails, riding stables, swimming, lake fishing, a zoo, paddle boats, tennis, miniature golf and 4 other golf courses are all within a short distance of the workshop site. You can also take in a bit of American history on this trip as well.

bald eagle over waterOption #4. Do you like Bald Eagles? If you do, I bet you would enjoy visiting an area with one of the largest Bald Eagle populations in the United States. A set of binoculars might be a good idea on this workshop. That’s not all you’ll see in this beautiful part of the country.

With gorgeous rolling hills, picturesque scenery, and old community/family farms, this is like taking a trip back in time to when life was more simple and humble. Travel to one of the largest lakes in the US for a day (or more) of fun or visit what National Geographic named one of the best worldwide travel destinations of 2012. Lots of options for enjoyment here.

water fallsOption #5. Want to help build an EcoCenter that supports teaching our children the importance of living a healthy and Green life? I have something even better for you. You can build that EcoCenter along side some of the youth that will benefit from it. I have reserved a few spots in this workshop for young adults from AmeriCorps.

They will stay on after the workshop and finish the EcoCenter. Talk about working side by side with community! The site has two lakes where you are welcome to fish or canoe and for even more recreation, there are mountain bikes and mountain boards to explore the countryside on.  In close proximity to the job site, on the same property, there is a garden/farm and a 10,000 sq. ft. national Disaster Assistance Center that ships disaster kits to sites around the country. If you want to help build community and be a part of something bigger than yourself, this is the place for you. If you’d prefer not to camp, no worries, there are several cabins as well as tree houses that you can rent on site!

southwest desertOption #6.
 Art. Desert. Mountains. History. That may be all I need to say for some. This incredible part of our country is home to some of the most prolific artists whom are influenced and inspired everyday by the stunning desert/mountain landscapes that surround them. There is even a world famous museum nearby that pays homage to one of the greatest desert artists of all time.

Water may be hard to find in this part of the world, but culture is not. There are several cultures in this region that have grown together over time and created a special experience for anyone who visits here. For a taste of history, you can walk through buildings that have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. If you like Native American culture and history, you will love this workshop location. Nearby is “the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.” Like I said: Art. Desert. Mountains. History.

orange treeOption #7. If you prefer cities, you may like this workshop which is located just thirty minutes from the state capitol. Even though it is close to a larger city, the workshop site is in a beautiful area with scenic views of an incredible mountain range and is surrounded by rolling, pastoral farmlands.

Take an evening or two to explore the nearby capitol city or drive an extra hour to visit one of the most famous coastal cities in the United States. With a large lake only 10 minutes away, there are many beautiful hikes to be taken and lots of water fun available. It’s the best of both worlds: city life in a state capitol and country living in the pastural farmlands surrounding the job site.

Want to learn more about straw bale houses and how to build one? Want to do so for FREE? Sign up for our totally free 16 Day Straw Bale eCourse! Find out more HERE.

8 Responses

  1. I so want to join you for a workshop. My son is only 2 1/2 next summer, so might wait one more year. My daughter would already want to help as well (she’ll be 7 1/2 next summer).

  2. It’s sometimes possible to bring kids with you to the class. It depends on the host and the location, but it can be done. You would need to have someone to watch the youngest during the class, obviously, but I’ve had people do that in the past. Just this year in New York, a woman brought her two young kids and a nanny and that worked out great. She paid for their food and that was the only difference. Just a thought…

  3. I have been interested in building a hay bale home for a while. I am excited to take your course to see if I could actually build one. I will let you know how it goes for me.

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